The Interviewer Said Something I Don’t Understand – What Should I Do?

Q. I do research before every job interview but often I still hear unfamiliar terms. Like the interviewer thinks I know more about their industry than I do. Should I ask what they mean? Or stay quiet?

A. ASK! That is a brilliant way to:

1. Show you are engaged in the conversation

2. Stay in the interviewer’s mind (Yay, this candidate is intellectually curious!)

3. Learn something new

4. Feel more confident for the rest of the conversation

Remember in school when the teacher said something that left you confused – so confused that you tuned out for the rest of the lesson?

You don’t want to tune out in the interview because the interviewer said something confusing. Ask what they meant!

INTERVIEWER: So once we get the frammelspitz built, we work on it until the customer is happy with it.

YOU: Thanks for that explanation. Just so I understand, what is a frammelspitz exactly?

INTERVIEWER: A frammelspitz? It’s a machine our customers use to do X, Y and Z.

YOU: Thanks. And why do they want to do X, Y and Z? How does that help them?

INTERVIEWER: These are great questions. You see, (jumps up to teach a lesson via whiteboard) it works like this…

NEVER KEEP QUIET IN AN INTERVIEW because you’re afraid you’ll embarrass yourself. You won’t. Asking questions is a good thing!